Authorities 'not doing enough' to fight cybercrime

UK businesses are experiencing more instances of cyber-crime, but don’t feel that government agencies are doing enough to help them fight it, according to a survey from the Corporate IT Forum.

The body’s 2008 ‘Information Security Service 2008 Ecrime Survey’ found that for large companies, high-tech crime is growing in severity, complexity, and proportion, and that there is a clear perception among many corporate security chiefs that such crime is being increasingly perpetrated by ‘professionalised’ criminal gangs.

It also suggests that security chiefs largely attribute the rise in such crime to the lack of coherent, international, joined-up, legislation, and the absence of suitable deterrents or penalties. It has, the findings would suggest, become ‘too easy and too risk-free for criminals to become involved in cyber crime’.

Despite investing significant funds in fighting high-tech crime themselves, this survey suggests that businesses and other organisations are ‘not receiving the additional support they need or deserve, from Government or policy-makers’.

Only 4.4 per cent of respondents said they ‘always report attacks to the police’, with 60 per cent reporting ‘some’ attacks, and 35.6 per cent rarely reporting attacks. Organisations that may wish to report cases of ecrime to the police are choosing not to because the bodies they are required to report ecrime to are, they believe, ‘under-resourced and ill-equipped’. 56.7 per cent reckon they ‘don’t feel that crimes will be investigated properly’.

Overall, the respondents see that the prevention of high-tech crime must be given ‘far greater prominence within Government’. Clear and consistent penalties for cyber criminals are needed as is the re-establishment of a central, national policing unit for both the reporting and investigation of corporate e-crime.

Last month (October 2008), the Home Office announced funding for the creation of the Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU), but the organisation’s remit is not yet clear, the Forum believes, and it is concerned that the proposed £7m of funding over three years ‘will not be enough’.

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